Rubber bands are an integral part of any prepper’s survival kit. These versatile little widgets can be used for a variety of purposes in a variety of situations, from tying off a wound to rigging up a fishing pole.
We’ve compiled the 14 most useful and practical rubber band tips for your next hike or camping trip!
1. Use rubber bands as a makeshift sling
A broken bone can put a damper on your day, but don’t let it ruin your plans. If you’ve picked up some slivers in a fall, pack a good pair of rubber bands and some duct tape to alleviate some of the pain.
Make a simple sling from the largest stretchy band that you own and gently wrap the other end around your limb to keep it in place. (Make sure to slip off any loose strands before you put it on).
2. Bandage wounds with rubber bands
A rubber band can often get the job done when it comes to bandaging up a bleeding wound. Staple the end of your rubber band to the skin around the wound and then wrap it as far down as you can.
After that, proceed with a tourniquet above the rubber band; handy if blood flow is compromised.
3. Fasten and unscrew nails
If you’re fixing stuff, don’t let screws or nails go astray. Hammer them into a solid surface, twist a rubber band around them and pull until snug.
The rubber band will keep them secure while you drive in the nail above it — without leaving your work in pieces. Rubber bands are also great for holding things together until you can get glue on it (like small wooden pieces).
Rubber bands can also be used to unscrew stripped screws.
4. Create a makeshift fishing net
Snag dinner easily with a simple rubber band! Tie a few slivers of bacon to the ends of each rubber band and dangle them over the side of your boat to attract fish (especially catfish). The critters in the water get tangled up in the bands and you reel them in.
This can be used to catch yourself some tasty fish tonight!
5. Bundle items up
Once you get a bundle of items secured with rubber bands, you can sling them over your shoulder for easier carrying! An added bonus: rubber bands are easier on your shoulders than heavy bundles.
6. Secure gear to a backpack with rubber bands
Rubber bands come in handy for more than bundling — you can also use them to secure gear to your pack. You can wrap them around the straps or dangle one off the end of your bag and let it flop freely; both will come helpful if you’re scrambling up rocks or letting your pack swing around a bit.
7. Fasten diapers
Dealing with diapers? Don’t let them fall into the abyss! If your baby hasn’t made it to toilet status yet, rubber bands will be your saving grace. Work the band around each side of the diaper, grab it and pull tight.
8. Create a tourniquet
Rubber bands can also double as a handy tourniquet–a must-have when you’re hiking or if you get injured in an off-road situation.
Wrap the rubber band as far up on the limb as possible and secure tightly with a second one; then tie a stick or other object around it for added pressure.
9. Tie rubber bands together
If you have a bunch of rubber bands, you can use them to tie one band around the other. This will help keep them together and make them more compact.
You can also use this technique with cordage — tying the ends of two pieces of cordage together with a rubber band is an effective way to secure loose pieces; when it comes time to put them all back inside your pack, the rubber band will help hold everything in place.
10. Tie off splinters
When you’ve stepped on a sharp rock and set yourself up for infection or worse, slap on a few extra rubber bands around the area where your foot was wounded. The pressure from the bands will slow blood flow and keep germs at bay, just in case.
11. Use a rubber band as a skipping rope
Keep yourself entertained during breaks by using your rubber band as a skipping rope! Maybe you’ve got some kids around who could use a little exercise; whipping them into shape will be much easier when they’re having fun.
12. Grip on securely
Rubber bands can be used as a means of gripping other objects, like bags or tool belts. Tie one end of a rubber band around something — perhaps your shoulder or belt — and then twist it to put pressure on the object. The rubber-band grip will keep you secure in this manner, offering excellent leverage when it comes to hanging onto things!
13. Use them in combination with other tools
If you have a few rubber bands on hand, don’t let them go to waste! You can use them in conjunction with rope, cordage, or plastic zip ties to secure items together.
This is especially useful when you want to strap something down — your load will be much more secure if you buckle it down with the help of a rubber band or two. Rubber bands can also help keep walls and roofs together!
Speaking of tools, you can use a rubber band and some sticks to create a self defense tool! Check out how you can make it in the video above.
14. Secure a lighter
If you’re frequently taking a lighter on and off your keychain, try tying a rubber band around the bottom of the lighter. This will keep it from falling into your pocket and getting lost in there or getting bent when you go to take it out. The extra security will almost guarantee that the light comes up every time you want to light up!
Rubber bands are multi-functional survival items that you should have in your go-bag. They can be used to save the day (or your life) in any situation! You should never leave home without them; they’ll come in handy for all sorts of tasks.
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